'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 80.3% in the last 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (80.1%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 30.6%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 30.8% from the benchmark.

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is 12.5%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (12.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 9.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (9.4%).

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is 21.6%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (21.3%) in the same period.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 17.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (17.6%).

'Risk measures typically quantify the downside risk, whereas the standard deviation (an example of a deviation risk measure) measures both the upside and downside risk. Specifically, downside risk in our definition is the semi-deviation, that is the standard deviation of all negative returns.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk of 15.5% in the last 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.3%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 12.3%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.3% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.47) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.47 of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is greater, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.39) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.39 is higher, thus better.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.66) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.65 of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.56 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.56).

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is 9.49 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.43 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 11 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -33.8 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -24.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-24.5 days).

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is 478 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (478 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 478 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 478 days from the benchmark.

'The Average Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. The Avg Drawdown Duration is the average amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs), or in other terms the average of time under water of all drawdowns. So in contrast to the Maximum duration it does not measure only one drawdown event but calculates the average of all.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (118 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 118 days of Vanguard 500 Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (173 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 173 days is larger, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Vanguard 500 Index Fund are hypothetical, do not account for slippage, fees or taxes, and are based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.